Masks

everyone is wearing them now

before this pandemic we wouldn’t even know

the truth from the lies

how lovers should understand more

how lovers should never be bored

with each other. with their skin

yet here we are in masks worn thin

and we have not even left the house.

You’re on my mind, like a song that plays

a guitar that keeps bleeding.

a flower constantly blooming

all the impossible events

like skies that cry

words that matter.

You know what I mean

when I don’t mean it.

Yet you make me feel like a coccoon

stuck in one phase

or a glass butterfly

that never changes;

a gift from my birthday

you never wrapped up.

You should have done all the things

you meant to do.

not merely talk about them

drunk one night

that doesn’t count.

Every Woman

Christina Strigas

I am not every woman
I am an extraordinary one
because I am not a beauty queen
or a wanna be a porn queen
no queens live inside me.
Also, I am not into princesses
who claim to not carry their crown
but act like they own the internet
with no graceful words.
I like to party and suck words out of worlds.
I live like every woman
managing love and kids
and work and asking the mirror
why do I look so tired?
I don’t ask who is the fairest
that question stopped at seven.
I am weird and quirky
and I eat in bed.
I like to read books
and watch the sunset
pull dirt out of sentences.
Pouring my heart out at cashiers
is what I do best.
I keep the lid on at all times
and laugh out loud
at slang and such nonsense
to keep us guessing at how
everything changes.
How long has it been since
you loved me?
I am right here.
I am every woman
and man.
We all want the same things
only we ask for it differently.

Ariel Poets

The exciting part about social media is networking and meeting like-minded people, especially if you are a writer or poet. A writer is a poet.

I first met Alexandra Meehan on Twitter. We have never met in real life, but our souls have probably met before. We became friends and we have come to appreciate each other’s poetic styles. I approached her a few weeks ago with the idea to open an account for lovers of poetry. We are both immensely inspired by Anne Sexton and Syliva Plath, who are two women who wrote about their turmoil life experiences. Men and women appreciate reading these two poets because through these women’s tough eyes the shape of humanity and relationships unfold in unique, female, poetic voices.

The pursuit of writing is an on-going struggle for writers and poets, especially women. Since Sappho, women have come a long way in poetry, but still struggling along. Emily Dickenson and Christina Rosetti are female poets who are world-reknowned and admired, but Sexton and Plath are still not a household name. In America they are. Just pushed aside for contemporary crap. The dark side and mental illness that haunts their literature takes too much of a front seat. Deconstruct it. Their brilliance shined among all. It seems there is so much more to their writing– to being women– that continues to fascinate us.

We created The Ariel Poets account on Twitter to further explore the inspiration that Sexton and Plath have given us throughout our studies of English literature. To be honest, when I was a young graduate studying English literature, in downtown Montreal; at Concordia University, my professor of modern literature did not even have them on our reading list. I discovered them on my own, like a deep secret you could not contain. That was the early 90’s. Ironically, Alexandra’s college experience has been similar, whereas the only poem ever covered was “Daddy”, which according to her, was not even taught properly.

 

Alexandra Meehan and I hope to inspire you with this account. We want to combine our efforts in writing, and give you some inspiration so that you never stop writing or reading.

No matter how a poet dies, it is how they live that matters most.

We both admire the bravery in Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath’s writing style, and the brutal honesty.

Our Twitter account: @ArielPoets from:@ArielPoets
Thank  you so much for your support,
Christina Strigas and Alexandra Meehan

http://www.alexandrameehan.com

Book Review of Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl

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Pulling Words is like Pulling Weeds for Nicholas Trandahl

Rating: Five out of Five stars

Nicholas Trandahl is one of my favorite contemporary poetic voices. I have read his poetry books before and every time I am amazed at the simple brilliance. His approach is methodical, reflective, environmental and brutally honest. Trandahl’s new poetry book published by Winter Goose Publishing is his best yet. Trandahl captures, nature, war, peace, love and family life in such divine poems that reflect nature and the beauty of everyday life. He finds the extraordinary in the ordinary and this is what makes Nicholas Trandahl a true poet. His ability to see thunder, rain, war zones through his quiet eyes. He is a peaceful man, and his beautiful soul is pulling words out of the universe with exquisite gestures.

There are so many poems in this collection that reached out to me and touched me. In particular, “The House on Pine Street” this poem describes the poet and his childhood home, how memories of riding bikes with friends, first kisses, innocence and that unique bond we have with our first home. Some memories are cherished and some we try to forget. His attention to detail and imagery is so accurate you feel as if you are looking at the home standing right next to him. You are observing and feeling his memories too. This is the the true nature of literature to share your art through the magic of words.

Here are the poems I read over and over again and will continue to do so.

“Maybe Poets Are Not Liars” just by the title I knew I would love this poem as a poet I understood it.

“Decaying Qualities”

I’m reading Mary Oliver

because there is no poet on earth

better to read

in the quiet sunshine.”

This poetry book is a must read for readers who adore Mary Oliver and Jim Harrison, this genre of poetry brings reminds me why I love poetry so much.

“Belgium”

The swell of time

is illuminated with

terrible moments-

more being born

each golden morning. ”

In “Things To Appreciate” Nicholas Trandahl shows us once again how to appreciate the moment, the objects that bring us joy in that moment, such as a book, a typewriter, smoking a pipe, having a cocktail. We see throughout his work that capturing these moments in poems is his forte. The times he is surrounded by his family and feels the love, these are the moments we all go through but rarely stop to think that it is fleeting. This is the magic of being a true poet, living in carp diem and writing about it. Trandahl captures these moments and paints them on his poetic canvas. Time and place is essential, his poems visit Wyoming, Martha’s Vineyard and deep forests. As someone who spent many childhood summers in The Cape, I understand the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard and relate to the scenery described, as well. Towns, cities are also relevant to Trandahl’s poems. The feeling one gets upon looking at quaint towns in the New England coast, can also bring back childhood moments.

 

Another theme throughout this book is war and the brutal nature of it. Equally, solitude and finding yourself as an individual by being truly alone and listening to yourself. This is so hard for most people to do, but as a poet, this is essential. The escape from the every day life and the solitude required to write, the discipline, the calmness. Trandahl evokes that calmness with his description of nature and his walks with his family and daughters. Everyone is in this book whom he loves. There is no particular order, there is only the poet’s observation.

 

Trandahl’s reflective poems makes the reader think about all that is important in the universe and not once is money brought up. This is the wisdom and power of words that have experience. When a poet has so many experiences in his or her life, there is more to discover about human nature and our motivations. If there is anything positive I can take from reading Pulling Words, it is to appreciate the moments that we have with our family, the universe and our own life experience.

 

Nicholas Trandahl writes at the edge of the Black Hills of Wyoming, where he lives with his wife and children.

Twitter: @PoetTrandahl

Facebook: Poet Nicholas Trandahl

You can purchase his book here:

 

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In the Middle

Once I was at the end of the love song

crying for years because it was over

before it even began. We were caught

loving the wrong person. I immersed

from my drowning and swam to the

beginning of the line. I sailed across

your poems and floated on your words.

You sent them to me by mail, on out-

dated postcards, you wrote them on

the back of my hand with your

fingertips. I sent you magic and

illusions with one needle on your

arm. We lived in a movie and

recited Shakespeare naked in bed.

You were not even close to being

who I thought you were. I was

too much for you to handle back

then, wanting to do everything

and doing absolutely nothing

about it. I climbed Mont-Royal

in heels and you laughed at

my absurdities. I was spontaneous

and explosive, until I wasn’t anymore.

I bent backwards on words

and the power of your hands.

Now I’m in the middle of something

that will change me forever.

I will never bet that girl again.

I have to be someone I thought

I would never be. Life throws you

these wicked curveballs

and I am catching them,

ready to be stuck here

hoping that it will not get

worse. All this hope

for songwriters and poets

but for a regular woman like me

it’s a waste of my time.